The term, ‘Relationships’ refers not just to romantic relationships, but to all the relationships that we share, be it our parents, siblings, friends and children, relationships between bosses and employees, teachers and students, and anyone we interact with.
Relationships, simply mean any situation in our life that involves others.
Human beings live in a society and man is a social animal. Thus our happiness, self-esteem, and ability to work, is greatly influenced by the quality of our relationships, thus affecting our mental health itself. And it is these relationships which lead to problems and also maladjustment in our lives. It is important to realize that in order to change relationships in a positive manner, we can only change the way we relate to others. Only this will change the way others relate to us.
Your relationships will work best if you are able to be yourself within them. Relationships in which you can be yourself are likely to feel more comfortable and to make you happier. Some very good relationships can be provocative and challenging too. However this in no way means that one can throw tantrums or be rude to people as one wishes. Also, relationships tend to be unsatisfying when one is fulfilling a role rather than being oneself. It is important then to improve such relationships.
Three guidelines to help you improve your relationships:
- Work on changing yourself, not on changing others.
- Changes take time.
- Work with people as they are.
1: Work on changing yourself, not changing others.
The temptation, particularly if a relationship is stormy, is to insist to oneself and to others that it is not you that needs to change but the other person. Now it may be true that the other person could change but since you cannot change other people, it is not worth trying. The only way you can change another person is to change the way you relate to them. Working to change one’s self is always difficult. However, the changes you make will eventually bring in the necessary changes in others. Leave these changes up to them, and the relationship will feel better to you both.
2: Changes take time.
When you change the way in which you relate to others, they may resist that change and do things to make you change back. Making changes in relationships can take longer than making changes in yourself alone, and it requires persistence and sustained efforts over a period of time. Give change, time.
3: Work with people as they are.
Be realistic. If you find yourself thinking “If only he would tell me what he’s thinking” or “If only he didn’t criticise me so much”, remember that if you want to bring about some changes in those relationships you should put away these “if only” and accept people as they are. Once you start making changes in yourself, the other person is likely to begin to change.
To learn how to manage change in Life click here.
The importance of solitude
Although good relationships are valuable, don’t underestimate the importance of solitude; the ability to enjoy, and to find creative strength in our own company. To be at ease with oneself alone can be a source of refreshment and energy. Solitude is a necessary component of many creative activities that require us to draw from our own inner depths. Solitude is not the opposite of good relationships. In fact, if we are continually seeking company because we are uncomfortable with ourselves, this is likely to tarnish our relationships with others. If we are at ease with ourselves we will be at ease with others.